Awhile back I saw somewhere that coconut cream can be used to make an all-natural Cool Whip. Various blogs list different ways to do this, some involving refrigerating the cream beforehand, or turning it upside down to get the really thick, gooey part that settles to the bottom, or, I don’t know, standing on your head, turning counterclockwise five times, and chanting “no preservatives.” So when I happened to notice coconut cream on sale at Sprouts recently, I dutifully picked up a jar, telling myself I would try this better-for-you Cool Whip alternative. (Since Cool Whip, delicious as it may be, is made out of some pretty nasty stuff.) Well……after several weeks, I never got around to actually doing it. The coconut cream jar ended up in the to-donate bag I keep in my kitchen. (Which I also haven’t gotten around to actually donating. Sensing a theme here.)
Then yesterday I had a hankering to make popsicles. Scrounging through my fridge and pantry, I realized we had a shortage of acceptable popsicle-making ingredients. BUT WAIT……
WHAT ABOUT THAT COCONUT CREAM?
The food bank’s loss is our family’s gain. (I’m sorry, Matthew’s Crossing.) These tropical popsicles (“tropsicles”) with their mix of banana, mango, and coconut cream turned out to be a dreamy oasis in the middle of a hot summer Saturday. Thanks to the coconut cream, they have a smoother texture than the icy-crunchy kind of popsicle you get with a thinner liquid base. I’d have to call them my favorite homemade popsicles of the summer.
By the way, if you’re wondering what coconut cream actually is, and how it’s different from coconut milk, coconut cream is made by simmering four parts coconut in one part water, whereas coconut milk is made with one part coconut, one part water. Obviously, that accounts for the cream’s thicker, richer consistency. You could probably try coconut milk in this recipe as well, with less creamy results. If you do use coconut cream, though, this recipe only calls for half of a jar, so maybe you’ll end up trying the Cool Whip alternative. And maybe I will, too….eventually.
Tropsicles: Creamy Tropical Popsicles
A Love Letter to Food Original
1/2 14-oz. jar coconut cream (shake before opening and eyeball about 1/2)
1 c. frozen mango
1/4 c. honey
1/4 c. Greek yogurt
Mix all ingredients in a blender. Freeze in popsicle molds at least two hours. Run individual molds under warm water for a few seconds to release popsicles. Enjoy!
Makes 2 1/2 c. popsicle mixture. Number of popsicles will vary based on mold size.